Jordan Peterson – same s**t different day

Jordan Peterson is a popular figure among people whose natural inclination is social conservatism, but who are too learned, well-read and have too wide a social circle to believe in the traditional defences of the present social order like religion, bloodlines or social Darwinism.

In short, the thinking man’s bigot.

Continue reading…

Robert Paul Wolff’s Credo

Another philosophy of life

Yesterday, my most loved and respected living philosopher re-posted to his blog a concise summary of how he approaches life, the social world and his place and role in it. He draws on two American myths that may not speak directly to an international audience, but I hope that we can all understand his basic assumptions and logical conclusions and include them more in our own lives.

Continue reading…

Accidental Anarchist

This is a short post recommending a BBC Four documentary  – Accidental Anarchist: Life Without Government.

I agree wholeheartedly with Carne Ross’ mistrust of the state and deeply sceptical view of the structure of international relations. Unlike him, however, I’m less hopeful about of our ability to make any meaningful changes to either.

Continue reading…

Hopes and fears of an AI future

In these summer months, lunchtime walks have become a near-daily event for me. Even when it isn’t sunny it’s at least warm. While I walk I tend to listen to something stimulating – a radio 4 program or podcast – but I’m fast exhausting my familiar listening material.

This week I’m giving Sinica a go. It’s a podcast broadly about China, where the hosts invite a special guest to help them cover one specific issue each episode. Yesterday lunchtime I listened to an episode from June, Kai-Fu Lee on Artificial Intelligence in China, and I include below a ~6 minute segment from the end of the episode, which is the focus of this post.

Continue reading…

The ‘natural’ limits to human society

Throughout history, societies have readily accepted that there are naturally prescribed limits on their form and function. Our present age is no different, and so we might ask, are ours any more true? If they aren’t, does their preservation as ‘natural rules’ – enforced by actual rules and laws – serve any social function, or simply limit human opportunity?Continue reading…

Should the left compromise?

These unsettling times. Nigel Farage is back on the radio, and the TV, and in the papers, telling us that “too many members of this government said too many nasty things about the President-elect” and “a lot of members of Trump’s inner circle are pretty unhappy”. Boris Johnson has joined in, and while in May he was “genuinely worried that he (Trump) could become president“, he is now ordering us to end our “collective whinge-o-rama“. Marine Le Pen, who even UKIP condemn, was invited onto the Andrew Marr show to explain the future she sees forming.

Forces aligned against everything we once stood for assemble before us. From all quarters those on the left are being urged to take 2016 as a sign that they are excessively progressive, have alienated the majority, and must discard their values.

Continue reading…

Burkini ban: The liberal and conservative outlook

Telegraph Burkini Banner

On the way out of a local supermarket this evening I noticed a banner across the top of the Telegraph declaring “Burkinis? We have to fight them on the beaches” alongside the picture of a middle aged, white, blonde-haired woman. Hoping against hope that this wasn’t a blue-on-blue misogynistic tirade to set my blood boiling I flicked through to the full article.

It was.

Continue reading…